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Complete B Sides: 1988-1991 Enhanced, Best of

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Best of
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B000056Q1P
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,975 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. River Euphrates
2. Vamos (Live)
3. In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator Song) (Live)
4. Manta Ray
5. Weird At My School
6. Dancing The Mantra Ray
7. Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)
8. Into The White
9. Bailey's Walk
10. Make Believe
11. I've Been Waiting For You
12. The Thing
13. Velvety Instrumental Version
14. Winterlong
15. Santo
16. Theme From Narc
17. Build High
18. Evil Hearted You
19. Letter To Memphis (Instrumental)
20. Here Comes You Man (Enhanced CD Video)
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

This long-heralded compilation gathers together the 19 hard-to-find gems that were scattered across the B-sides from their six original UK singles (plus one from the US). The CD booklet comes with track-by-track sleeve notes written by Frank Black. There are two videos: 'Here Comes Your Man' & 'Allison'.


It is always an indicator of a band that were truly influential--a posthumous collection of retrospectives and compilations that approaches the size of the catalogue they recorded while still functioning. The release of Complete 'B' Sides puts the unfeasibly fabulous Pixies only a live album away from being as prolific since their split as they were before it. Complete 'B' Sides is, naturally, 10 times the record most bands come up with when they put all their biggest hits on one record. Not only is everything that made Pixies great here in plentiful amounts--Joey Santiago's demented guitar wig-outs, Black Francis's malevolent falsetto, the uniquely propulsive rhythm section of Kim Deal and David Lovering--but it contains some of their best work, notably live favourites "Vamos" and "River Euphrates" and the alternate, Surfaris-inspired take on "Wave Of Mutilation". --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Let me tell you a story. i get into certain bands quite easily, and once i'm into those bands, i stay with them. i got my first nirvana cd about 3 years ago, at the age of 14. it was "nevermind", and i listened to it solidly for about a year. then i got "in utero", and i listened to that more than i did "nevermind". the same thing happened with "incesticide" when i got that album.
now, i know you're thinking 'when does the pixies stuff come in?' and the answer is right here. see, i read about kurt and i heard that one of his biggest influences was "the pixies". i had never heard any of their songs, didn't know who they were, anything. but to me at the time kurt was god so i went to the record shop and found this little beauty. when i popped the "complete b-sides" on, that was the last day i listened to any of my nirvana cd's, and that was over 6 months ago, and i've been listening to this (and the other pixies cds i got which are all brilliant)solidly.
ok, a bit about the music. track 1 is "river euphrates", and it is a more polished version of track 6 of "surfer rosa". i like this more than the "rosa" version, because the production is a lot easier on the ear, but the song is basically the same. vamos live, and in heaven follow, and after heariung these two songs, i finally realised what kurt had made the fuss about. in heaven is simple but staggering in terms of raw power delivered. many of the other songs are great, but the absolute standout tracks are those 3, followed by "bailey's walk", "the thing", and "into the white".
in a nutshell, then, this was the band that got me away from being obsessive about nirvana, and they did it on the strength of just this b-side album. good lyrics, good musicianship, lots of passion. great record.
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Format: Audio CD
The frustrating thing about this album is that if you are a Pixies fan you will probably have all the singles anyway. If you came in late, or never got the singles, this is a must-have. It does smack a bit of 4AD profiteering, but I digress....
This album features the single version of 'River Euphrates' a much better version than on the album, and the one you will always hear at the nightclubs. All the other singles up to the final Pixies album, Trompe Le Monde are on this album. It even has songs from the two alternate singles of 'Planet of Sound', one of which (US, I think) had the instrumental version of 'Letter to Memphis' and the other (UK / Australian version) had 'Theme from Narc' (from the video game).
I give this 4 stars because it is lacking a few things (but I am being very picky). Firstly, it has the live version of 'Vamos' from the Gigantic/River Euphrates single, but does not have the live versions of 'Planet of Sound' and 'Tame' that were on the Alec Eiffel single (and they are excellent!).
Also, it does not have the single version of 'Dig for Fire' which is very slightly different to the LP version (different intro). Also, I think 4AD could have dredged up 'Born in Chicago' off the Elektra anniversary CD and 'I can't Forget' from the 'I'm your fan' Leonard Cohen tribute. Although strictly not 'b-sides', they would really make this album complete.
Worth buying for a fan, for sure.
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Format: Audio CD
Albums comprised mainly of b-sides are often disregarded by most as second-rate or unimportant material. Save for the diehard/completist fans of the artists in question, people generally don't even think about spending the money on b-sides. For the most part, b-side collections are inferior to groups' album cuts. The exception to the rule: Pixies.
For a band that never released a 'bad' record, per se, you'd expect some excellent flip sides to their singles. And excellent they are. 4AD, the label that released the Pixies' albums during their too-short lifespan, collected all the b-sides from the band's singles on one recording. In chronological order, too!
Well, aside from the few live/alternate tracks missing, this *is* the complete b-sides. Since I became a Pixies fan a little bit after they disbanded, I didn't know these songs and wasn't sure what to expect. I was greatly pleased. While this isn't the ideal place for a newcomer to their music to start listening, it still is (for the most part) top-notch material.
There are nineteen tracks on this recording, many of them being under the 2-minute mark (in standard Pixies fashion). Some of the standouts are: the instrumental version of the stellar "Letter to Memphis," the catchy Doolittle outtake "Manta Ray," David Lovering's demented ode to Debbie Gibson "Make Believe," and the cover of Neil Young's "Winterlong." Oh, and don't forget the live version of "In Heaven (the Lady in the Radiator Song)," the key song from David Lynch's film Eraserhead.
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Format: Audio CD
I love the Pixies. "Surfer Rosa" is in contention for my favorite album of all time, and "Doolittle" and "Bossanova" are a lot of fun too. I eagerly bought "The Complete B-Sides", and my love of the Pixies initially propelled me into giving it a rating of 4 stars. Three months later, after listening to this a few more times, I have given it a more realistic grade.
It's not that this album is bad (how can it be? It's Pixies!). There are some great songs here: "Make Believe", "Weird at My School", "Dancing the Manta Ray", and "Into the White", for instance. However, the compilation is weighed down by unnecessary, inferior remakes ("River Euphrates", "Vamos", and "Wave of Mutilation") and an excess of filler. How many pointless instrumentals does one need?
The real strength of "The Complete B-Sides" lies in the covers, particularly the two Neil Young songs and "Lady in the Radiator Song" (from the David Lynch film 'Eraserhead'). Black Francis's version of "Winterlong" was the one that made the Neil Young tribute album, but Kim Deal's haunting "I've Been Waiting for You" is possibly the best song on "The Complete B-Sides". The only other song that competes with "I've Been Waiting for You" is the live version of "In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)". This song, although a cover, highlights the best of the Pixies--just listening to it makes one miss the days when the Pixies were a band. The song itself is sad and beautiful, and Black Francis yells emotionally while the Joey Santiago drives riffs.
Personally, I'd recommend downloading the best tracks (the ones I've mentioned above) rather than buying the album, especially since it is an import and correspondingly expensive. However, this album is pretty decent, and fun for Pixies devotees. "The Complete B-Sides" is no "Surfer Rosa", but as Frank Black writes in the liner notes, "Did I mention that this was a B-Sides compilation?"
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